Game Thread: Seton Hall looks to bounce back (again) vs. Xavier

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Faced with their second chance to rebound from a painful road loss in front of a second consecutive sold-out home crowd, No. 19 Seton Hall takes on No. 11 Xavier at Prudential Center.

The only game between ranked opponents on a busy Saturday across the country, this match-up projects to be an exciting one with little separating the two teams.

All eyes will be upon Seton Hall’s response from an empty performance at Creighton in mid-week that was filled with drama when Kevin Willard benched Desi Rodriguez for the remainder of the game after the Pirates fell behind 20-4 just six minutes in.

Willard said of his small forward that “he had that look on his face where he just didn’t want to be out there”, which Rodriguez responded to on Twitter in a rather defiant fashion, in a tweet which has since been deleted.

The Tweet read: “Haha really funny , why wouldn’t I want to be out there battling with my guys I love these dudes they are my brothers , we will be just fine trust me”

This is the latest on the situation, with a tidbit that Ish Sanogo — who has played well of late — may start in place of Mike Nzei for the first time since mid-December at Rutgers.

Drama aside, Seton Hall and Xavier have played a handful of entertaining games over the past couple seasons, most notably the emotional 90-81 win over a top-five Muskies squad in 2016 which essentially clinched the first Pirates NCAA bid in a decade.

This one projects to be as good, should Seton Hall show up and defend their flawless 13-0 record at home dating back to a loss at the hands of Villanova last season.

Don’t just take my word for it.

Stat(s) to watch: Xavier has never won at Seton Hall; the Hall is 1-4 in the five worst offensive games that Angel Delgado has had this year; Ish Sanogo has accumulated 31 points and 22 rebounds over the last three games — it took him the previous eight games to score 31+ points, dating back to Louisville

Series history (since 1950): 9-5 SH

KenPom says: No. 33 Seton Hall 81, No. 16 Xavier 80

Projected Xavier starters
PG – Quentin Goodin
G – JP Macura
G/F – Trevon Bluiett
F – Naji Marshall
F – Kerem Kanter

Projected Seton Hall starters
PG – Khadeen Carrington
G – Myles Powell
F – Desi Rodriguez
F – Ish Sanogo
F – Angel Delgado

TV: 2:30et, FOX
Radio: AM970 / SIRIUS 108 / XM 201
Opening line: Seton Hall -1.5

Please use this post for all in-game and immediate post-game discussion.

  • PadrePirate

    That 2016 was win over Xav was electrifying. Let’s hope for a similar effort today. Win or lose, I’m looking for a strong team effort out of this game. Either they bounce back, pass the ball, avoid sloppy TO’s, play tight D, and get all the starters involved in the offense, or it’s time to call a team meeting. With a few poor performances in a row, this feels like a fork-in-the-road game. I’d love to see Desi come out with fire (but not hog the ball).

    • cali jack

      Agree.This is a tough game but one we can win with our best effort.Its not as much the W or L as it is the effort and quality of play we put forward which is important.If we play our best we’re back on track.Another Marquette/Creighton performance should initiate major changes in the lineup/playing time.

  • Andrew Herbst

    Let’s hope we come out ready to go. I think we will be more focused. I’ll be there cheering our boys on. GO PIRATES!

  • Jersey Jerry

    Xavier’s front line will be tough on Angel Delgado, but the match- up between J.P. Macura and Trevon Bluiett vs Khadeen Carrington and Desi Rodriguez will be fun to watch; however, I’m thinking Myles Powell will be the difference in this one! BIG come back for the HALL today as the Pirates 797b35258dd2bf8c80ddc7d12f995086dc7176559bd58f6f77c10711c2043ac6.jpg

  • PadrePirate

    Will the real Hall please stand up! GO PIRATES

  • Matty P

    Disappointing loss in this one. Thought with the crowd behind them that the team would’ve won this game. Carrington shot too often with his shot not going down today and Powell’s shots weren’t falling either. Willard played the starters too much in the second half especially when Cale made a couple shots in the first and looked to be playing well on the offensive end.

  • Ardy

    I think we will be out of the top 20. They are ranked higher than us but when we were playing SH ball we were better. We need to get back in sync. All the extra stuff is taking a toll on the team!

    • Matty P

      Wouldn’t be surprised if we fall out of the top 25. Only thing that might keep us in is a lot of upsets this week.

  • marco

    make walker the starting pg… i’ll live with his turnovers and the occasional ill-advised shot… he might make up for it with steals at the other end…

    i want the old deeno back… put him off the ball, hopefully he can rebuild his confidence… coaches will have to really work with him to make it seem like it’s not a demotion… but they have to do something… it’s just not working with deeno at the point… maybe it works against bad teams… i want him off the ball, scoring, cutting, shooting… shoot first, pass second

    maybe walker will spark the offence… i like his energy at least… i know its asking a lot from a freshman pg, but i can’t take much more of the status quo